Ticino Gate

Piazza 24 Maggio, 2. (Open Map)


The city’s southern access gate, the Ticinese arch was built to commemorate Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory in Marengo. Nowadays it is considered one of Milan’s foremost examples of neoclassicism. Previously known as “Porta Cicca”, this work by architect Luigi Cagnola (b. 1762 Milan, d. 1833 Inverigo) stands in the center of Piazzale XXIV Maggio. The monumental “Porta” is surrounded by several urban features that are essential parts of Milan to this day, such as the Basilica di San Lorenzo (Basilica of St. Lawrence) with its colonnade, the Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio (Basilica of St. Eustorgius), Corso San Gottardo and Corso di Porta Ticinese, the dock and the last uncovered section of the ring of canals that surrounded Milan until the early decades of the 20th century.Porta Ticinese remains an important site for two events that recall Milan’s religious traditions: the Procession of the Wise Men on the occasion of Epiphany (the 6th of January), and the new Archbishop’s entrance to Milan, when he arrives to take over the Ambrosian diocese. Porta Ticinese used to be known as Porta Cicca, a name which goes back to the times of Spanish domination. This city gate, being the smallest of Milan’s gates, was christened “Chica” or literally “little girl”. During the Roman era it was call “via Carraria” or “Porta Marzia” for the presence of a temple dedicated to the god Mars.
From 1800 to 1814, during French domination, it was known as “Porta Marengo” (“Porta Marenca” in dialect), to celebrate Napoleon’s victory at Marengo on the 14th June 1800.
For some time, Corso San Gottardo was called “Borg fi formaggiatt” (village of cheese makers), for the presence of the many dairies in the area.